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Zack Rogow


In Memoriam: Enid Dame, 1943–2003

View of Constantinople by Alessandro Piazza

I light candles for the lost causes, the Spanish Republic
when trolley fare-collectors debated Trotsky vs. Bakunin
in Barcelona cafés
over tumblers of rioja;

and those 19th century phalansteries
in the utopian mud of Indiana,
where they sought an outlet for every human passion
in their isosceles society
only to have that New Jerusalem dry up
when one person drank up all the power;

and the Anabaptists in the 1500s who scorned baptism
except when faith was “a free gift of God,”
cartwrights, furriers, and cutlers
hunted like deer in the Low Countries
by Catholics and Lutherans alike;

I mourn for the Paris Communards
already in Cemetery Père Lachaise
when they were cornered by muskets;

Emma Goldman cast out
by both Wall Street and Red Square
(“I pointed out that we could not hope to achieve freedom
by increasing the power of the State,” she said
during her lunch with socialist Debs);

and for the student strikers of 1968
who convened till their throats hurt
and swung open the Sorbonne
to the Renault workers;

Julia Butterfly and the redwood
she cocooned in for two years;

I save buttons and beads of all the lost causes, lost tribes,
minor parties, heresies, and evaporated languages
that never survived History,
the ultimate actuary.


About the writer:
Zack Rogow is the author, editor, or translator of more than twenty books or plays. His ninth book of poems, Irreverent Litanies, was issued by Regal House Publishing. He is also writing a series of plays about authors. The most recent of these, Colette Uncensored, had its first staged reading at the Kennedy Center in Washington DC, and ran in London, San Francisco, and Portland. His blog, Advice for Writers, features more than 250 posts on topics of interest to writers. He serves as a contributing editor of Catamaran Literary Reader.

Image: View of Constantinople by Alessandro Piazza (1665-1727). Oil on canvas. 45 x 49.75 inches. Between 1691 & 1702. Public domain.

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